An   online   interview   combined   from   a   couple   of   interviews Ronald   Allen   did   for   the   official   Crossroads   magazine   and Central Press Office: How did you get into acting? I've   been   acting   for   about   thirty-nine   years   I   started   off   in the   classic   way   that   actors   of   my   age   started   off:   You   go   to drama school, which in my case was RADA. You   then   spend   six   months   in   a   good   repertory   company   -   I   was   in   Salisbury   -   and   then   you   go   to   do   Shakespeare   at   the   Old   Vic. Then   along   came   some   film parts which are very difficult to refuse you know. You also worked in Hollywood, but only for a couple of films, why was this? I   was   offered   a   three-year   contract   with   20th   Century   Fox   films,   but   it   didn't   really   turn   out   to   be   what   I   wanted   or   expected. After   making   three   films   I returned home to England. Theatre has always been my first love, though I'd be scared to go back [to theatre] now. In   the   1960s,   television   was   the   place   to   be   however;   I   was   lucky   enough   to   be   offered   some   interesting   parts   in   television   drama.   Compact   was   the   first show   that   brought   me   to   masse   audiences.   This   series   was   created   by   Peter   Ling   and   Hazel   Adair   for   the   BBC,   they   of   course   went   on   to   devise   David Hunter for me. [Compact was a twice-weekly serial based in a womans magazine office.] Could you tell us a little of how David Hunter came to arrive at the Crossroads Motel? David   came   from   a   family   of   hoteliers   and   he   had   been,   prior   to   arriving   at   Crossroads,   running   his   own   hotel   in   Bermuda.   It   seems   that   although   the business was a success, his dedication to the job affected his private life. His wife Rosemary, feeling neglected, had an affair with David's business partner. He   sold   up   his   share   in   the   Bermuda   hotel   and   came   back   to   England   hoping   that   would   bring   the   marriage   back   together   again. At   that   time   there   were   a whole lot of shares going in the motel so he bought a block and started co-directing Crossroads Motel with Meg Richardson. You said that theatre was your first choice for acting, so why have you now decided to base yourself firmly in television drama? I enjoy television very much, I very much enjoy the feeling of contact with the audience, really knowing who your audience is. I really do enjoy it. David Hunter is often topping the polls of 'sexiest male' on television, how do you feel about this? David's   got   a   very   strong   relationship   going   at   the   moment,   but   there   is   a   tremendous   problem   -   many   of   our   female   viewers   never   wanted   David   Hunter   to ever get married! Its this special popularity that leads to such problems with the storylines. Female fans are often getting jealous of David's relationships! In   fact   when   David   was   having   a   on-off   relationship   with   the   journalist   Kelly,   played   by   Justine   Lord,   a   very   lovely   actress   and   beautiful   girl.   When   things with Kelly looked like they were coming to a romantic conclusion, many viewers wrote in complaining. The   marriage   to   Rosemary..   ..arriving   at   Crossroads   didn't   help   really..   for   the   first   few   months   Rosemary   was   pretty   much   locked   away   in   David's   cottage, in   fact   no   one   at   the   motel   knew   he   was   married…   Unfortunately   even   the   change   of   location   and   his   many   attempts   to   set   things   on   an   even   keel   didn't save   his   marriage.   Things   went   from   bad   to   worse,   and   in   the   end   David   Hunter   was   divorced.   Ever   since   then,   Crossroads   Motel   has   served   as   his   home and as a sort of surrogate family. What kind of feedback do you get from the fans? Viewer   involvement   with   the   programme   is   very   important. Although   sometimes   it   can   be   rather   worrying.   What   with   people   writing   in   for   secretarial   jobs at the motel, or they try to book the Banqueting Hall for a Christmas party! Sometimes it really is quite a frightening responsibility. Do they ever tell you off for things you've done as David? Oh dear, oh yes. Particularly when David strays from the straight and narrow, having affairs and the like. Do you think you've added some of yourself to the character of David Hunter? I   think   that   is   inevitable.   If   you   work   in   a   show   for   five   or   more   years   an   awful   lot   of   your   own   personality   goes   into   it.   Then   the   people   who   write   the scripts   watch   what   you're   doing   and   say   to   each   other   "Oh   yes,   Ron   does   that.."   and   then   they   write   in   what   I   do.   Because   of   this   attention   by   the scriptwriters certain elements of my personality do form the character of David Hunter. But there must be parts of David Hunter's character that are not Ronald Allen in any shape or form? Yes,   some   parts   of   David   Hunter   have   absolutely   nothing   to   do   with   me   in   any   shape   or   form.   David   is   meant   to   be   a   whiz-kid   businessman,   but   I   could never   run   a   motel.   I   think   I   could   put   on   a   performance   of   greeting   people   at   the   door   and   making   sure   everyone   was   comfortable,   but   as   to   the   massive technical side of things - VAT, ordering food and so on - I haven't a clue. What do you like most about David? What   I   particularly   enjoy   about   being   David   Hunter   is   the   way   that   the   character   is   continually   changing   and   developing.   What   I   mean   is   that   when   you   do a   one-off   play   you   rehearse   and   rehearse   just   to   define   a   particular   character.   Once   that's   done,   there   is   no   changing   him.   But   in   Crossroads   the   character can do anything. He's developing all the time, you know, and new facets are being revealed all the time. Crossroads   underwent   a   recent   revamp,   which   was   brought   on   by   a   new   producer.   This   change   has   also   seen   "The   Hunters"   written   out   of   the   show how did you find out you and Sue would no longer be required? Phillip   Bowman   the   new   producer,   took   both   Sue   and   myself   out   to   lunch   where   he   told   us   how   great   we   were,   then   sacked   us.   He   did   say   that   I   should   go west; he seemed to think that I'd be great in Dallas or Dynasty. Would you like to do an American soap opera? I'd love to, love to! Mainly for the money! You don't get rich doing British serials. Was your sackings a surprise? Er,   yes   and   no.   I've   done   enough   soap   to   know   that   when   a   new   producer   takes   over   anything   could   happen.   So   I'd   worked   out   that   one   of   his   new   plans could be for Sue and I to go. I didn't say anything to Sue of course. Your   on-screen   wife   Barbara   Hunter   is   played   by   Sue   Lloyd,   who   you   also   live   with   as   partners. Are   there   any   plans   to   follow   in   David   and   Barbara's steps with a real life wedding? Yes eventually, certainly. If we marry we will certainly marry each other, that's why we're engaged. (laughs) When   Noele   Gordon   was   sacked,   the   character   of   Meg   was   thought   to   have   been   burned   to   death,   they   pretty   much   burned   the   motel   down   around her.. Yes   Meg   was   in   bed   at   the   time,   (laughs)   I   had   this   wonderful   speech   where   I   had   to   say   she   was   in   her   bedroom   and   she   went   down   through   the   reception and finished up in the basement. (laughs) I had this terrible mental image of Nolly going down, and down and down. Barbara and David had a far happier ending.. Yes we spend the rest of our lives driving up to the motel in the red car. No we drove off into the sunset for a new life in Bermuda. [People at first thought it was Ronnie and Sue in the red MG car in the 1985-87 opening titles.] Was it difficult filming your final scenes, saying goodbye to all your friends at the studios? Horrendous,   horrendous.   We   had   to   say   things   like   'we   want   to   go,   its   the   best   thing   that's   ever   happened   to   us.'   And   of   course   we   were   leaving   so   many people, I mean all the people in make-up, the boys on the studio floor, they were great chums. The tears were real. You sang a song on the Wogan chat show about your departure from the Crossroads Motel, how did that come about? Well   we   were   asked   to   sing   something   for   a   concert,   it   was   'A   Night   of   100   Stars'   in   fact   they   called   it   'A   Night   of   98   stars   and   those   two   from   Crossroads' (laughs) It was for Unisef. What are your future plans? Well   I've   done   another   movie   as   part   of   the   Comic   Strip   series,   Supergrass.   In   this   Comic   Strip   I   start   off   as   a   vampire,   then   turn   into   a   policeman   who   in turn wants to be a priest. (laughs) Ronald finally married Sue Lloyd in 1991.
 © Crossroads Fan Club 1987-2016, Interview quotes from Central Press Office, BBC TV chat show Wogan and The official Crossroads Monthly Magazine, 1976